Chelsea prioritise signing Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey in January

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According to Italian publication Calicomercato, Chelsea have made signing Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey a priority in January.

What’s the word?

Bayer 04 signed Bailey in January 2017 for a fee of around £12.8m from Belgian side Genk, beating Chelsea to his signature (Sky Sports) and has since been linked with a move away from Germany on many occasions; along with Liverpool, the Blues again showed interest in the fleet-footed winger, with both clubs keen to sign him in the summer (Mirror) after a sensational 17/18 season.

The latter appear to be back in for the 21-year-old when the winter transfer window opens.

The former Genk man is valued at £40.5m by Transfermarkt and if Maurizio Sarri finally brings him to Stamford Bridge in the new year then the Italian’s spending since his arrival in July will be just shy of £170m, with Sky Sports understanding his expenses to be £128.6m in the summer window.

What will Bailey bring?

The Jamaican had a breakout 17/18, scoring 12 goals and assisting six in all competitions for Die Werkself, his combination of dribbling and pace in the final third causing fellow Bundesliga sides all kinds of problems. His start to the current season has not been quite as strong as his last, but the 5’11” speed-demon has still netted and assisted once in eight appearances.

The winger is capable of playing on either the right or the left, dangerous cutting onto his favoured left foot or driving down the line and whipping in a pinpoint cross.

With both Willian and Pedro now into their 30s and talisman Eden Hazard constantly being linked with a move away, it makes sense that Sarri is keen to go back in for Bailey; he could be an important signing going forward and feature regularly.

Considering the transfers of Xherdan Shaqiri and Riyad Mahrez to Liverpool and Manchester City, respectively, the coast could be clear for Chelsea to move for their man.